Degenerative disease of the central nervous system in New Guinea. The endemic occurrence of “Kuru” in the native population.New Engl. J. Med., 257, 974-78, 1957.
First description of Kuru, a disease occurring in natives of New Guinea. Cause of the disease was unknown.
"It is now widely accepted that kuru was transmitted among members of the Fore tribe of Papua New Guinea via funerary cannibalism. Deceased family members were traditionally cooked and eaten, which was thought to help free the spirit of the dead. Women and children usually consumed the brain, the organ in which infectious prions were most concentrated, thus allowing for transmission of kuru. The disease was therefore more prevalent among women and children" (Wikipedia article on Kuru, accessed 12-2019).
Subjects: COUNTRIES, CONTINENTS AND REGIONS › Papua New Guinea, INFECTIOUS DISEASE › Prion Diseases, NEUROLOGY › Degenerative Disorders